1. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I was inspired to write after traveling across the state of Virginia with my family. The book I published is based on real-life adventures my family had while hiking, biking, and kayaking across the state.


2. How long have you been writing? How many books have you written?

This is my first book, and it would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the staff at Gatekeeper Press. I learned the story may come from the author, but the book comes from the collaborations and contributions of many.


3. What made you want to self-publish?

I wanted to self-publish because I knew I was writing a book for a niche audience and I thought it would be a good fit. My book is focused on Virginia, so most of my readers have a passion or interest in the state.


4. Would you recommend new authors self-publish, and would you recommend Gatekeeper Press?

I think new authors should consider their audience in determining whether or not self-publishing is a good fit. For me, it’s worked out great because my reader base is based in my home state. I would definitely recommend Gatekeeper Press for self-published books. I was incredibly impressed with the professionals I worked with, which includes my Author Manager, Illustrator, and Formatter.


5. What do you do marketing-wise to help announce and sell your books?

I created a website for my book, which has helped me get the word out. The website allows readers to look inside and read the first several pages of the story. It also includes games and other activities to engage readers.


6. What advice do you have for a new or fledgling author?

My recommendation for new authors would be to focus on who your main audience is and work on getting the word out to those groups. My book focuses on Virginia and complements the state-wide social studies curriculum, so I focus a lot of my energy on author visits at elementary schools.


7. What social media platforms are you on?

I just started an Instagram page for my book. It takes time to build up a following, but it’s a good way to share photos and keep people updated on author visits and other activities.


8. What is the one piece of advice you wish you had known when you first started out?

I wish I had a better appreciation for the time it would take to go through the publishing process and an awareness of all the components that have to come together before the book is finalized.


9. What do you feel is the biggest challenge authors are facing going into 2022 (and beyond)?

I think there are many ways to “read” a book these days. A lot of people enjoy eBooks or audible versions of a story, so I think that’s an important thing to consider. I highly recommend publishing an eBook along with the print version.


10. Have you won any awards or contests that you would like to mention?

My book is about a state-wide scavenger hunt across the state of Virginia, and I’m working with several places across the state to create mini-scavenger hunts for readers at locations mentioned in the book.


Please share your website/social media links below:

Instagram = @virginiaisforadventurers